All In to End Veteran Homelessness City Swing: Las Vegas
On June 2, I gathered with Councilman Ricki Barlow, the Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, local mayors, non-profit and faith leaders, and three Federal Cabinet Secretaries from the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor for the Mayors Challenge Forum at the World Market Center. It was an unprecedented showing of the power of the “we” that Las Vegas does so well. True grit, determination, and hard-held collaboration make the successes in Las Vegas something that, we hope, will change the coined phrase, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” As Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald said in his speech, “we do not want what we have learned and what we have achieved in Las Vegas ‘to stay in Vegas.’ We want to share it with the nation.”
We came together as mayors to show our leadership and commitment to an issue that has profound importance for the city and state we are so proud to call home. We are committed to ensuring there are strong partnerships and systems in place so no Veteran who served our country finds him or herself without a place to call home. This work is only done through the collaborative spirit that we value and hold dear.
Since 2014, Las Vegas has shown an almost 44% decrease in the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness. We are so proud of that! The Mayor’s Challenge forum was a moment for us to sit together and celebrate the successes we have achieved to date. It was also a chance to send a loud call to our partners and the community that it is time for “all hands on deck.” We believe that we can meet our goal and that come December of this year we can share with the nation what “we” can do in Las Vegas. We remain focused on the words of our President, “We’re not going to rest until every Veteran who has fought for America has a home in America.”